Ethnicity and Tribalism: are these the Root Causes of the Sudanese Civil Conflicts?

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1 Ethnicity and Tribalism: are these the Root Causes of the Sudanese Civil Conflicts? African conflicts and the Role of Ethnicity: a Case Study of Sudan By Pamela Paglia

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION... 1 Geography...3 Historical Background of Sudan...3 The First Civil War...4 The Second Civil War...5 Historical Background of Darfur...5 The Darfur Crisis...6 WHY SHOULD NOT ETHNICITY AND TRIBALISM BE CONSIDERED THE PRIMARY CAUSES FOR CONFLICT?... 7 Tribalism and Ethnicity: A Theoretical Framework...7 Ethnicity in Sudan...13 Constructed Ethnicity and Constructed Conflict...15 THE ROOT CAUSES OF AFRICAN CONFLICTS The Postcolonial Period...19 Postcolonial African States and the Emergence of Conflict...19 Postcolonial African States and the Legacy of Colonialism...20 Postcolonial African States and the Impact of the Cold War Period...25 Ideologies of the Cold War Period...26 The Neoliberal Period...28 Crisis of Postcolonial States and Democratization...29 SUDAN Postcolonial Sudan and the inheritance of colonialism...32 Sudan and the Postcolonial and Neoliberal Periods...34 CONCLUSION SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY... I 2

3 Introduction When I visited Darfur last May, I felt hopeful. Today I am pessimistic, unless a major new international effort is mustered in the coming weeks (...) I wish I could report that all these efforts had borne fruit - that Darfur was at peace and on the road to recovery. Alas, the opposite is true. People in many parts of Darfur continue to be killed, raped and driven from their homes by the thousands. The number displaced has reached 2 million, while 3 million (half the total population of Darfur) are dependent on international relief for food and other basics. Many parts of Darfur are becoming too dangerous for relief workers to reach. The peace talks are far from reaching a conclusion. And fighting now threatens to spread into neighboring Chad, which has accused Sudan of arming rebels on its territory (...) One thing is clear: Whatever external force is sent to Darfur can provide at best only temporary security to the people there. Only a political agreement among their leaders can secure their future and the return of 2 million of them to their homes. 1 The article by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan describes with pessimism the unsolved tragedy of Darfur. The headlines of the international press have echoed the toll of the Darfur Tragedy. The 200,000 victims and almost 2 million displaced people have pushed the conflict to the central stage of international issues. In the words of John Danforth, US Ambassador to the UN, this conflict represents the largest humanitarian disaster in the world. 2 The crisis in Darfur is not unusual in the overall African scenario. The whole African continent is in fact still torn apart by many cases of conflict and civil unrest, which hinder the development of many African countries. Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ethiopia and Eritrea, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and Somalia are only some examples of the atrocities that afflict the African continent and make peace and stability impossible. Africa is also the continent with the highest rate of poverty, illiteracy, and infant mortality. Numerous international organizations, both governmental and nongovernmental, have tried to promote strategies for poverty reduction, economic and social development and crisis management. Africa seems, though, not to respond as well as other parts of the world to the therapy. Since the 1960s, several development and international financial aid programs have tried to address the issues of poverty and underdevelopment in Africa, Asia and Latin America. These programs yielded results in some parts of the world, as for the so-called Asian Tigers - Singapore, Honk Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea. We have also assisted to the exponential growth of the Indian 1 Annan, Kofi, Darfur Descending: No Time For Apathy on Sudan, The Washington Post, Wednesday, January 25, 2006; Page A19. From: 2 Can the African Union Bring Peace To Darfur?, Economist.com, October 25 th, 2004 From: 1

4 and Chinese economies despite their high levels of corruption. However, similar programs were almost a failure in African countries. Many scholars have rightly argued that political and social instability are a major cause for underdevelopment. Ted Gurr and Monty Marshall have written that most African conflicts are caused by the combination of poverty and weak states and institutions. 3 By poverty, I also imply a scarcity of and therefore a struggle for resources. It is thus fundamental to precisely identify the causes and factors for instability in order to create successful strategies for the resolution of endemic poverty and underdevelopment in Africa. At a first glance, the media and a large number of scholars and politicians pointed out at ethnicity and tribalism as the root causes for conflict. For instance, despite Arab and African ethnic groups were mixed since the VIII century, most literature on the causes of Sudanese civil conflicts depicts these conflicts as an Arab, Muslim North versus an African, and Christian/Animist South. The distinction is made according to the perceived origins of the two groups, where the Arabs are said to come from Saudi Arabia, and the Africans from African groups, the most ancient of which is the Nubian ethnicity. In the Darfur conflict, the ethnic division between Arab militias and African tribes has been described as the primary cause for conflict. Indeed, ethnicity and tribalism have an important role in the conflicts, but emerge only as secondary factors. Concentrating on ethnicity as the primary cause for conflict underestimates the complexity of African societies and politics, and deviates policymakers attention from the real causes of conflict. Ethnicity is a means through which conflicts in many African countries are conducted and a powerful tool for political mass mobilization. Therefore, the main question is: if ethnicity and tribalism are not the root causes, what triggers conflict in Africa? My thesis tries to analyze the main features of African conflicts and to take the Sudanese civil conflicts and of the ongoing Darfur crisis as a case study. The thesis tries to give a theoretical framework for ethnicity, in order to explain that ethnicity is not conflictive per se and cannot, therefore, cause conflict. The thesis thus attempts to determine the root causes of conflict, which are to be found in historical patterns of regional marginalization and economic uneven distribution, in the influences of the international context on the local reality, in the political mobilization of ethnicity by international and local actors, in structural problems, in environmental degradation, and by the failure of state-building, and consequently of nation-building. 3 Quoted in: Irobi, Emma Godwin, Ethnic Conflict Management in Africa: A Comparative Case Study of Nigeria and South Africa, May From: 2

5 Geography The Republic of the Sudan is a federal republic, which is divided in 26 States. Its population amounts to about 40 million people. Most of the population - 68% 4 - is rural. According to the Millennium Development Goals Report, the percentage of rural population increases in the South as 98% of it lives in rural areas. The International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur revealed that the remaining 32% of Sudan s population is urban and 7% nomadic. Historical Background of Sudan The history of Sudan has been strongly influenced by the Arab world since the VII century. In fact, in 651, Muslim Egyptians invaded Sudan, and signed a peace treaty with the Christian state of Makuria ruled by the Nubians, first inhabitants of the country. The treaty came to be known as bakt. It was based on mutual respect of each other s political and cultural integrity. 5 Accordingly, Makuria had to provide the Egyptians with slaves in exchange for goods. This historical pattern is central, because the exploitation of marginalized regions is still an ongoing process in modern Sudan. We will see how this pattern of exploitation repeated itself during the Turkish domination, the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium and in post-independence Sudan. With the first Arab invasion, the Egyptian Arabs and the Nubians became linked by frequent intermarriages. Although the bakt was a treaty of peaceful coexistence, Northern Sudan underwent a slow process of Islamization. During the 1200s, the Egyptian military ruling class, the Mamlukes, attacked the state of Makuria, which finally collapsed around the 1300s. The Arab penetration was slow. The first key event was in XV century, when the black population of the Blue Nile region mixed with the Arabs, and founded the Kingdom of the Funj. Sennar became the capital. The Funj started to expand northward destroying in 1504 the Kingdom of Alwa - last Christian state of Sudan. The Funj unified the country, by subduing the pagan states of Darfur and Kordofan (1596), and by establishing local Muslim dynasties. The hegemony of Sennar lasted until 1786, when the Funj were suppressed by the Hameg, who threw the country into anarchy. Islamic law and religion came to Sudan through pilgrims and holy men. Arabization was strengthened by the presence of Arab merchants, who linked Sudan with the Arab world. The 1797 Battle of the Pyramids, led by Napoleon Bonaparte, weakened the power of the Mamlukes. This event helped the Egyptian Khedive Mohammed Ali to conquer the regions of Kordofar and Sennar in 1821, and the district of Dongola around 4 Report of the International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur to the United Nations Secretary-General, Geneva, 25 January Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African-American Experience, p Civitas Books (1999, New York) 3

6 Mohammed Ali melted Sudan with Egypt, and founded a new capital in Khartoum in The Egyptian domination accelerated the Islamization and Arabization of the indigenous tribes of the North and promoted their development. However, the Egyptian conquest also increased the spread of the slave trade, perpetrated by the Arab ruling classes, known as Jellaba. The Jellaba were merchants who had come to Sudan with Islam. The slave trade was the means by which the Egyptians could finally conquer in 1874 the Darfur region and Southern Sudan. The bad administration of local governors, the establishment of the Anglo- French dominion on Egypt, and the repeated attempts by the Khedive Isma il, successor of Mohammed Ali, to suppress the slave trade were the causes for the bloody Mahdist Revolt ( ). The revolt attempted to create an Islamic state, but it faced the opposition of the Fur sultanate. The Fur are the predominant ethnic group in the Darfur region. They were never fully subjected to the strict Islamic law of the Mahdist state, but they applied Islamic law based on the Fur ethnicity and tradition. During this period, after the Fashoda incident (Sep. 1898), the British affirmed their interest on this area, and in 1899 an Anglo-Egyptian condominium was created. Accordingly, Sudan was still economically tied to Egypt, but it was administered by the British. The condominium regime was renewed even in early XX century. However, a profound divergence arose between Great Britain and the Egyptian nationalists on the fate of the country. When in 1922, Egyptian Sultan, Fuad I, had proclaimed himself hereditary ruler of the two countries, the British did not oppose, mainly because they maintained the practical administration of the country. Greater divergence emerged in In fact, on the one side, Britain wanted an independent Sudan (and for the purpose it endowed the country with a Constitution in 1948 together with a legislative assembly), whereas, on the other, Egyptian nationalists wanted to annex the country to Egypt, claiming their legitimate right to rule the country. Anyhow, the Egyptian nationalists requests finally ended with Egypt s independence in In 1953, elections were held in Sudan, but they represented a compromise between the Egyptian nationalists and Northern Sudanese parties. Egypt accepted Sudan s independence on the condition that the South was removed of its administrative powers. In response to Southern Sudan s non-representation in the elections, a violent protest, known as the Torit Mutiny, blew up in The First Civil War The Torit Mutiny is seen as the beginning of the first civil war in the Sudan. The Sudan finally gained independence in 1956, but it was clear from the beginning that peace could not last if an agreement between North and South was not reached. In fact, in 1958 the first military coup ended the two years of pseudo-democratic governance and brought General Ibrahim Abbud to power. His policy of forced Islamization and Arabization was met with increasing violence, which led to the first civil war in 1962 between a mostly Arab Muslim North and a prevalently African Christian/Animist South. In 1965, a coup made elections finally possible, but only in the North. The South was not represented, because violence was still raging the region. However, the democratic regime was short-lived, as another military putsch took place in General Mohammed Nimeiri took the leadership of the country until The war only came to an end in 1972 with the Addis Ababa Agreement, which gave a higher 4

7 degree of autonomy to the South. In February 1975, following a major cabinet reshuffle, General Gaafar Mohamed Nimeiri reaffirmed his Government s basic commitment to the pursuit of an Afro-Arab foreign policy, and noted that this was not tied to particular personalities. For just as the appointment of the distinguished diplomat, Mansour Khalid, as Foreign Minister in August 1971, had prompted charges that the Sudan s Arab ties were to be sacrificed to African interests, so his departure from office to become Minister of Education aroused speculation that greater Arab involvement, if not actual African disengagement, would now follow. 6 This passage by Richard Stevens testifies that the Addis Ababa Agreement did not reach an effective compromise between North and South for a stable peace. Indeed, another coup was perpetrated, which led to the elections in 1986 of Sadiq al-mahdi, leader of the moderate Islamist party, the Umma Party. In 1989, a modicum of stability - at least in what concerns the head of government s position - was reached as President Omar Hassan al-bashir came to power through a military coup, and still retains power. The Second Civil War The second civil war, which lasted twenty years, erupted in 1983, and mainly involved the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), which is the major rebel movement in the South. The war emerged as a consequence of President Nimeiri to revoke the Addis Ababa Agreements and to establish Islamic law (sharia). In 1986, Sadiq al-mahdi came to power, and initiated the peace talks with the SPLM/A. The Koka Dam Declaration aimed at abolishing sharia, but the President only signed the declaration in However, after a few months a coup d etat deposed al-mahdi, and the Declaration was disregarded. The peace talks that finally put an end to the conflict initiated in 2002, and culminated in the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement on January 9, The Comprehensive Peace Agreement established a six-year autonomy of the South (elections will be held in 2011), an even share from oil revenues between North and South, and the integration of rebels into the regular army. Historical Background of Darfur Darfur is the westernmost region of the Sudan. Traditionally, the first rulers of Darfur were the Daju people, who were overthrown by the Tunjur only in XIII century. The Tunjur rule initiated Darfur s long tradition as an Islamic state. However, it was not until the XVII century that Darfur became a sultanate under the Keyra dynasty, which replaced the Tunjur and merged with the Fur. During the XVII century, the Keyra Fur dynasty, which originally came from the Jebel Marra occupied most part of what is today s Darfur (about 80% 7 ). The sultanate expanded even further, when it occupied the Kordofan region to the east in In 1821, the Turco-Egyptians conquered the region of Kordofan. Only in 1874, the Keyra dynasty was overthrown by a powerful merchant from Khartoum, Zubeyr, who took the lead of the sultanate. However, soon after his conquest, Zubeyr was arrested by the Turco-Egyptians. 6 Stevens, Richard P., The 1972 Addis Ababa Agreement and the Sudan's Afro-Arab Policy, The Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol. 14, No. 2 (Jun., 1976), pp Prunier, Gérard, Darfur: The Ambiguous Genocide, p.10. Hurst & Co. (2005, London) 5

8 After the collapse of the Mahdiyya (the Mahdist period), Ali Dinar, who belonged to the Keyra dynasty, restored and took control of Darfur. Because Darfur constituted no threat and no resource of wealth for the British, it remained independent up until However, the occupation by French forces of neighboring Chad and World War I, ignited the suspicion of the British, who saw Ali Dinar as a possible allied of the enemy forces. At Al-Fashir, the colonial army occupied Darfur and annexed it to Sudan. The Darfur Crisis The first conflict in Darfur began in 1985, the same period when Sudan was suffering from a severe drought which brought untold suffering in the form of devastating famine. The feeling of neglect by the government in Khartoum, compound with the denial by sedentary communities to allow migration on their land of the pastoralists towards the South created an explosive cocktail which pushed some in the Darfur region to pick up arms. The situation was further exacerbated by the massive movement of Chadian refugees fleeing the civil war that had begun in Chad, bringing with them more hardship. The civil conflict lasted for four years until a peace agreement was signed in 1989 by the warring faction. This initial conflict created the mechanisms for future conflict. The 1989 Peace Accord lasted just for a decade and another conflict erupted in 2003 and is still going on. The developments in Sudan over the years have led the present crisis to be at a glance an ethnic conflict, which sees mainly two sides: the Arab, government-sponsored militia, the Janjaweed, and the African ethnic groups - the Masalit, Fur and Zaghawa - of two rebel movements, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudanese Liberation Army/Movement (SLA). According to Human Rights Watch, between 2003 and 2005, the crisis has caused two million of internally displaced people (IDPs), 220,000 refugees to Chad, and 1.5 million still need food assistance. According to the UN Office in the Sudan, 200,000 people were killed since The ongoing Darfur crisis started in early 2003 with the peace talks between North and South. The two Darfurian rebel groups - the SLM/A (Sudan Liberation Movement/Army) and the JEM (Justice and Equality Movement) - started to conduct attacks against military installations in early The rebel groups major concern was that the peace agreement between North and South would have marginalized even more - politically and economically - the region of Darfur. Since 2003, the government started to bombard African villages, and state-sponsored Arab militia, known as the Janjaweed, has been involved in grave crimes against humanity, including ethnic cleansing, mass killings, and raping. On May 5, 2006, the so-called Abuja Agreements were signed in Nigeria. The SLM and the Government signed the peace agreement brokered by the African Union and the US. The JEM did not sign the peace accord, because it did not meet JEM demands for a higher share of power in the Sudanese government. The agreement called for the disarmament of the Janjaweed and the incorporation of the rebels in the army, an annual $200-million investment in the region, compensation to IDPs (internally displaced persons), and affirmative action in favor of the Darfurians to enhance inclusivity in public services. 8 8 Darfur Peace Agreement, signed on May 5, 2006, in Abuja (Nigeria). From: 6

9 Despite the agreement, attacks by the Janjaweed have not subsided and the local population continues to suffer from the brutal actions by both the Khartoum authorities and their Janjaweed militia. An AU peacekeeping force (AMIS- African Mission in Sudan) is in Darfur since Its main task is to protect IDPs from the Janjaweed. However, due to weaknesses in command and control, logistical support and operational practice 9, the peacekeeping force has been unable to eradicate violence in Darfur. The International Press denounced the continuation of bombing campaigns by the government. On September 2006, the BBC reported, Khartoum has denied any bombing, calling it lies designed to further the agenda of those who want to impose United Nations peacekeepers " 10. Only on 12 June 2007, President al-bashir finally agreed to the deployment of a 20,000-men hybrid UN-AU force in Darfur. This is a first positive sign for conflict resolution. However, it must be still seen whether this will prove effective or not. Why should not ethnicity and tribalism be considered the primary causes for conflict? Conflicts in Sudan, as well as in many other African countries, have often been presented as ethnic or tribal conflicts, as they were usually fought by contending ethnic groups or tribes. The Rwandan genocide, for instance, was fought between the Hutus and Tutsis; the first and second civil wars in Sudan were fought between an Arab Muslim North and an African Christian/Animist South; the Darfur crisis presents itself as a fight between Arab militia, the Janjaweed, and African tribes; and Somalia has been depicted as a conflict between different clans. Certainly, the ethnic and tribal identities are relevant in these conflicts, but they are only secondary factors. Ethnicity and tribalism are only the lines along which wars in Africa are fought. Using ethnic and tribal affiliation as the root causes of conflict is misleading, because it hides the real causes for war. Tribalism and Ethnicity: A Theoretical Framework In order to understand why ethnicity and tribalism are not the primary causes for conflict, it is necessary to define what a tribe and an ethnic group are in order to establish the role of different identities with regard to African civil wars. The theoretical framework that follows tries first to determine what tribalism and ethnicity are, and then to redefine their role in the emergence of conflict. A tribe is thought of as a group of people who are descended from common ancestors and ruled by a hereditary chief, who share a single culture (including, in 9 AMIS: African Union Mission in Sudan (Darfur), 10 Fisher Jonah, Dying As Darfur Awaits for Peacekeepers, Thursday, September 21, 2006, BBC News, from: 7

10 particular, language and religion), and who live in a well-defined geographical region. 11 The concept of tribe in modern usage is wrong, because it belongs to 19 th century colonialism, it does not refer to a homogeneous identity, and because today s African identities do not always share common ancestors and well-defined geographical regions. First, tribalism is a concept that belongs to the 19 th century, and that is still used to describe some African societies. The anthropologists of the colonial period believed that all African peoples lived in tribes, because a tribe was the primitive stage of human social development. Thus, it has often been stressed that the term tribe has discriminatory connotations, because it underlines the primitiveness of a group relative to the advance of another group. Second, even in 19 th century the concept of tribe oversimplified the nature of African pluralist identities. In fact, a person not only identified with a tribe. There also existed other social identities, such as the village community, the clan and the lineage. A tribe was, in fact, the gathering of more clans and sub-clans, a clan being a family tree of male descendants. 12 Moreover, a village community conglobed different clans or lineages. Although they might have shared many of their daily life activities with their village neighbors, they often had political loyalties to rulers elsewhere, and connections through trade and secret societies to people in other villages and towns. 13 Therefore, a tribe was not a homogeneous identity, and is not the only political unit that we found in Africa. There existed also Sultanates and Kingdoms, which grouped even more diverse groups of people. Third, today s usage of the term does not correspond to what African identities are. During the colonial period, urbanization led to consequent migrations. Civil wars, too, contributed to such phenomena, thus mixing former tribal identities with others. Also, village identities became less important as rates of urbanization in Africa increased, especially after World War II. Secret societies were often deliberately targeted for destruction in the colonial period, because they involved rituals and religious beliefs inconsistent with Christianity or Europeans norms of civilization. 14 Consequently, the importance of geographical location and common ancestry in the definition of tribe significantly decreased. So, why is the term still used? What is its meaning? Kwame Anthony Appiah clarifies that when we refer to tribe today, we do not emphasize the history of a specific group, but its ethnonym. Ethnic names, or ethnonyms, are products of the interaction between the ideas of European colonial officials and anthropologists, on the one hand, and preexisting ways of classifying people in Africa s many pre-colonial societies, on the other. 15 David Wiley of the African Studies Center of the University of Pennsylvania wrote in 1981: Misnaming African ethnicity as tribalism has long bedeviled U.S. foreign policy in Africa, leading to miscalculations and errors of 11 Kwame Anthony Appiah, Ethnicity and Identity in Africa: An Interpretation, p.703 Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African-American Experience, Civitas Books (1999, New York) 12 Jack L. Davies, The Reunification of the Somali People, Appendix 4. Source from: 13 Kwame Anthony Appiah, Ethnicity and Identity in Africa: An Interpretation, p.703 Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African-American Experience, Civitas Books (1999, New York) 14 Kwame Anthony Appiah, Ethnicity and Identity in Africa: An Interpretation, p.703 Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African-American Experience, Civitas Books (1999, New York) 15 Kwame Anthony Appiah, Ethnicity and Identity in Africa: An Interpretation, p.703 Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African-American Experience, Civitas Books (1999, New York) 8

11 judgement. When we respond to a political movement as only a tribal reality, we misjudge its strength, its potential organization, and the breadth of its appeal, as we clearly did in labelling as tribal groups the three political liberation movements of Angola. 16 Also, because the languages taught in school or spoken in the cities were those of the colonial rulers, what was translated as tribe had often a different meaning in indigenous languages. In a paper published by the Africa Policy Information Center in 1997, it was emphasized how, for instance, the word isizwe in Zulu was translated in English as tribe. Yet Zulu linguists say that a better translation of isizwe is nation or people. 17 David Wiley also stated, Because English, French, Portuguese, and occasionally Afrikaans were the languages of the schools and the city, tribe, tribu, and the other cognates defined the language of urban and political interaction and defined the categories into which rural and urban societies were allocated during the colonial period. Now, prominent African leaders use the term in appealing for "an end to tribalism", referring to the urban and national struggles for power in utilizing ethnic and language ties as a means to aggregate power and authority. They too miss the ethnic dynamic and mistakenly link the urban ethnic dynamic to the rural societies. 18 Johnson points out that the usage of the term tribe in Sudan is retained because of its political connotation. In fact, it politically combines smaller affiliated sections and there is recognized consensus among Sudanese groups of their belonging to a certain tribe. He recognizes, as most scholars do, that tribe is a very general concept and its definition varies from people to people. Therefore, a tribe is defined by the Nuer group as a unit having common descent, whose affiliation is stronger in cases of defense. For the Dinka, belonging to the same tribe means having a relationship to a lineage of spiritual leaders. But as reflected in other scholars works, Johnson emphasizes that tribes are in no way rigid categories, and implies the recognition of tribe as an ethnonym. In neither case are tribes permanent fixtures, even though they were given some rigidity as recognized parts of the administrative structure during the later Condominium period. Among the Nuer, for instance, the primary sections of the Eastern Jikany and the Lou have increasingly acted as autonomous political groups. One cannot, therefore, speak of the Dinka tribe or the Nuer tribe: rather of the Dinka people and the Nuer people, each of whom are organized into a number of different tribes at any one time, some of which may be socially and politically closer to tribes of neighboring peoples than to more distant tribes of the same people. 19 Therefore, what we call tribe is usually a reference to ethnic groups. Ethnicity has been ground of very heated debates over its meaning and definition. It is commonly agreed upon that an ethnic group is characterized by common descent and culture. Before giving details about ethnicity, we must point out the difference between ethnic groups and nations. Nations and ethnic groups are based on pretty much the same 16 Wiley, David, Using Tribe and Tribalism Categories To Misunderstand African Societies, African Studies Center, University of Pennsylvania, Source from: 17 Background Paper, Talking About Tribe, Moving from Stereotypes to Analysis, November 1997, Africa Policy Information Center From: 18 Wiley, David, Using Tribe and Tribalism Categories To Misunderstand African Societies, African Studies Center, University of Pennsylvania, Source from: 19 Johnson, Douglas H., The Root Causes of Sudan s Civil Wars, Preface p. xv, Indiana University Press (2003, Bloomington) 9

12 concepts of common culture and descent. The idea of nation is different from ethnicity, though. An ethnic group is the basis for the idea of nation to be created. Anthony Smith argues in The Ethnic Origin of Nations, Nationalism extends the scope of ethnic community from purely cultural and social to economic and political spheres; from predominantly private to public sectors. To make any real headway in the modern world, ethnic movements must stake their claims in political and economic terms as well as cultural ones, and evolve economic and political programs. 20 However, political and economic features can be found even in Sudanese multiple ethnic identities without speaking of any real national identity. Anyhow, the main difference between nation and ethnic group is that the first is as broad a term as to include in itself the idea of ethnic identity. Smith argues that national identities have an ethnic core, which provides distinctive features such as mythology, symbolism and culture. 21 As anthropologist Thomas Hylland Eriksen points out, the distinguishing mark of nationalism is by definition its relationship to the state. A nationalist holds that political boundaries should be coterminous with cultural boundaries, whereas many ethnic groups do not demand command over a state. 22 As emphasized by different authors, nationalist groups seek independence from the state, whereas ethnic groups just seek a greater participation within the state. Unlike nationalist movements, ethnic groups do not seek self-determination but operate within the parameters of the state (although ethnic assertion can evolve into a nationalist movement). 23 In Ethnicity, Steve Fenton states, an ethnic group refers to descent and culture communities with three specific additions: 1. that the group is a kind of sub-set within a nation-state, 2. that the point of reference of difference is typically culture rather than physical appearance, 3. often that the group referred to is other to some majority who are presumed to be ethnic. 24 In 1975 book by Glazer and Moynihan, Ethnicity, ethnicity was defined as a label for social groups who feel a distinct sense of difference by virtue of common culture and descent. 25 Similarly, following Max Weber s classic definition, an ethnic group is a human collectivity based on an assumption of common origin, real or imagined. 26 Also, in analyzing the Greek word ethnos and the Latin word nation, Fenton shows that the ideas of ancestry, common origin or descent, and more generally peoplehood are at the core of modern usages of the words ethnic and nation which are derived from these classical sources. 27 Ethnicity, though, is best described when the concept of the other is also introduced. In a few words, an ethnic group identifies itself as such only when it enters a relation with another group. Johnson says that the word qabila (قبيلة) in Arabic is commonly used in the Sudan to describe a tribe or group. But I think that it is even more 20 Background Paper, Talking About Tribe, Moving from Stereotypes to Analysis, p.22. November 1997, Africa Policy Information Center From: 21 Mezran, Karim K., Negotiating National Identity, p. 40. Antonio Pellicani Editore (2002, Rome) 22 Hylland Eriksen, Thomas, Ethnicity and Nationalism: Anthropological Perspectives, Pluto Press (1993, London) From: 23 Premdas, Ralph, Ethno-Racial Division And Governance: The Problem of Institutional Reform and Adaptation, Paper Prepared for the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development Conference on Racism and Public Policy, September 2001, Durban, South Africa. From: 24 Fenton, Steve, Ethnicity, p. 23, Polity Press (2003, Cambridge) 25 Jones, James M., Prejudice and Racism, p nd Edition. McGraw-Hill (1997, New York) 26 Pettigrew, Thomas F., Ethnicity in American Life: A Social-Psychological Perspective, Race and Ethnicity in Modern America, p.180 (1974, Washington, D.C.) 27 Fenton, Steve, Ethnicity, p. 51, Polity Press (2003, Cambridge) 10

13 (مقابل) interesting to note that the same Arabic root gives birth to another name muqabil which means opposite but also equivalent. Thus, the relationship with another entity (as opposite ) and with other individuals within a same group (as equivalent ) is the key element in the definition of the word itself. The theory of the other can be found again in the etymology of the adjective ethnikos that, as Fenton argues, means both foreign and national. Therefore, despite the difference between the concepts of nation and ethnic identity, in arguing about the nation, Mezran devices concepts, which could also be used to define an ethnic identity: National identity becomes meaningful only through the contrast with others. For the nation to exist it is presupposed that there is some other community, some other nation, from which it needs to distinguish itself. As Triandafyllidou points out the nation has to be understood as a part of a dual relationship rather than as an autonomous, selfcontained unit. The identity of a nation is defined and/or redefined through the influence of significant others, namely other nations or ethnic groups that are perceived to threaten the nation, its distinctiveness, authenticity, and/or independence. 28 In defining ethnicity, there is widespread consensus that it expresses ideas of common origins and ancestry, and that its distinctiveness becomes relevant only in relation to another identity, which is perceived as different. Anyhow, we find a dialectical approach when talking about its origins. Is ethnicity innate or socially constructed? The theory that sees ethnicity as being something innate is primordialism. The theory according to which ethnicity is subjectively characterized by culture and society is constructivism. Primordialism sees kin relations and family ties as pre-social, or to use Geertz s concept given. These congruities of blood, speech, custom and so on, are seen to have an ineffable and at times overpowering coerciveness in and of themselves. 29 Thus, as also Shils says, The attachment to another member of one s kinship is not just a function of interaction it is because a certain ineffable significance is attributed to the tie of blood. 30 Therefore, primordialists have come to regard ethnicity as a state of nature, an innate bond to kinsmen of a same ethnic group. Some argue that primordial means non-civic, being civic those ties associated with citizenship and citizen-like obligations in a modern state. 31 Constructivism, on the contrary, sees ethnicity not as a matter of nature, but as a matter of nurture 32. Thus, common ancestry and myths are socially and culturally constructed, not given. Fenton shares the constructivist view, and therefore describes ethnicity as referred to the social construction of descent and culture, the social mobilization of descent and culture, and the meanings and implications of classification systems built around them. People or peoples do not just possess cultures or share ancestry; they elaborate these into the idea of a community founded upon these attributes. 33 Judith Nagata talks in a way of a primordialization of cultural attributes (my emphasis). Depending on circumstances, people may see their place of origin, their ancestry and aspects of custom and culture as fundamental to their being. In these circumstances, she suggests, people attach a primordial meaning to these attributes; 28 Mezran, Karim K., Negotiating National Identity, p. 49. Antonio Pellicani Editore (2002, Rome) 29 Geertz, Clifford, The Interpretation of Cultures p.258 Basic Books (1973, New York) 30 Fenton, Steve, Ethnicity, p. 82, Polity Press (Cambridge, UK, 2003) 31 Fenton, Steve, Ethnicity, p. 88, Polity Press (Cambridge, UK, 2003) 32 Mezran, Karim K., Negotiating National Identity, p. 36. Antonio Pellicani Editore (2002, Rome) 33 Fenton, Steve, Ethnicity, p. 3, Polity Press (Cambridge, UK, 2003) 11

14 they are seen as fundamental, even biological, certainly grounded in place (of birth) and similar in nature to ties of kinship. 34 Ethnic identities are complex and cannot be simplified by saying they are innate or socially construed. We must be aware that innate and constructed elements are both present in every ethnic identity. If we try to explain ethnic affiliation as partly noncivic, then it is true. To speak of this kind of customariness, familiarity, conventions of language and thought and the like is not to invoke an unexplored and unexplorable realm of irrationality in human behavior, and certainly not to imply that irrationality and affect are dominant forces in social life. (cf. Bourdieu 1990). It is simply to acknowledge that this kind of familiarity exists, that habits of thought do become ingrained and are often associated with early life, place, the family, and wider grouping or regions. 35 We may not say though that ethnicity is primordial, meaning it is innate, because human beings still need a contact with other kin members (be it the family or regional groupings) to recognize themselves as belonging to a specific ethnic group. If ethnicity was primordial, and so was the perception of the other, then conflict would be inherent in each relationship between different ethnic groups and ethnicity would always imply conflict per se. It would be a Hobbesian war of every man against the other. But this is not the case. The constructivist view of ethnic identities can explain the so-called ethnic conflict. Societal, cultural and political influences are fundamental in shaping relations between ethnicities and thus in explaining conflict between them and ethnic mobilization. Some ethnic identities share common cultural origins, ancestry, and language, but still, they consider themselves different. The work of the Norwegian anthropologist Fredrik Barth is essential in explaining ethnicity not as a matter of objective cultural differences, but as a matter of recognition and differentiation among ethnic identities. Barth argues that ethnic groups are separated from each other by boundaries which are drawn by social behavior which is relevant to the recognition of membership, and to the drawing of distinctions; the cultural items which are used to make this distinction vary, and may be only a small part of the cultural repertoire of a particular group. 36 In Barth s words, we can assume no one-to-one relationship between ethnic units and cultural similarities and differences. The features that are taken into account are not the sum of objective differences but only those which the actors themselves regard as significant some cultural features are used by actors as signals and emblems of difference others are ignored. 37 Cultural differences exist and Barth denies no such thing. But he argues that these differences may change and are not static. According to the Norwegian anthropologist, there is a sort of complicity among members of a same ethnic unit, acceptance that both are playing the same game. 38 Ethnicity in Sudan and in the Darfur region is not easily recognizable, given the entrenchment and intertwining of original African and Arab groups. Conflicts in Sudan have usually been defined as tribal or ethnic. On the one hand, the North-South divide has usually been defined as a war between predominantly Arab, Muslim North against the African and Christian South. On the other hand, the Darfur conflict has been described as a conflict between Arab and African tribes. If we only look at the 34 Fenton, Steve, Ethnicity, p. 86, Polity Press (Cambridge, UK, 2003) 35 Fenton, Steve, Ethnicity, p , Polity Press (Cambridge, UK, 2003) 36 Fenton, Steve, Ethnicity, p. 106, Polity Press (Cambridge, UK, 2003) 37 Fenton, Steve, Ethnicity, p. 107, Polity Press (Cambridge, UK, 2003) 38 Fenton, Steve, Ethnicity, p. 108, Polity Press (Cambridge, UK, 2003) 12

15 surface, that is, at first sight, it is clear that the North-South divide involves prevalently ethnic Arab and Muslim North versus an African, non-muslim South. Also the Darfur crisis involves the Arab tribal militias, the Janjaweed, and African tribes the Masalit, Zaghawa, and Fur. But are there really pure Africans and pure Arabs? What defines ethnicity in the Sudan? And most of all, to what extent does ethnicity count in Sudan s conflicts? Is ethnicity the ultimate cause for conflict? Can the Sudanese North-South conflict really be described as a two-bloc civil war between Arab Muslims and African Christians/Animists? And in what sense can the Darfur crisis be termed as a tribal conflict? In order to answer these questions, we must first analyze ethnicity in the Sudan. Ethnicity in Sudan In order to have a general overview of Sudanese ethnic scenario, we must identify the main ethnic groups. Most ethnic groups in Sudan socially construe their ancestry, origins and culture by reference to the past. Thus, for instance, the Berti and Zaghawa claim descent from a Nilo-Saharan group, which came from northwest between the 1300s and the 1500s. However, despite the perceived common origins and ancestry, most modern ethnic groups in Sudan are also the result of centuries of migrations from neighboring countries. For the purpose of giving an overall cadre of ethnicity, we will use The Encyclopedia of the Orient s classification. Accordingly, there are about nine major ethnic groups, each of which is subdivided in smaller ethnic groups. The following table shows these groupings and their percentage on Sudan s total population. Main Sudanese Ethnic Groups Arabs 21,000, % Dinka 3,000, % Nuba 2,100, % Nuer 1,400, % Fur 1,000, % Zande 660, % Shilluk 600, % Bari or Zaghawa 480, % Nubians 200, % Other peoples 6,300, % Table 1 - Main Sudanese Ethnic Groups. Source: The ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE ORIENT, Arabs The so called Arabs account for 55% of the population. Such group claims descent from Saudi Arabia or Yemen, and speak Arabic. The Arabs are not a uniform group, and ethnicity can be defined by the way of life of a community. Thus, for instance, a nomadic or sedentary livelihood modifies the perception of ethnicity. 13

16 Dinka The Dinka are 8% of Sudan s total population, and are mainly settled in the South. As the Arabs, the Dinka present about 25 ethnic subdivisions 39. They are mainly semi-nomadic. Nuba The Nuba account for 6% of the population, and are characterized by various ethnic sub-groupings. They predominantly live in the Kordofan region on the Nuba hills. They live mostly on agriculture and cattle raising. Almost all Nuba profess socalled traditional religions, but those who moved to urban areas have adhered to the Islamic religion. However, it has been recalled that The term Nuba refers to 'a bewildering complexity' of ethnic groups (Nadel, 1947). Stevenson (1984) identified more than 50 languages and dialect clusters, falling into 10 groups. Many authors have argued that the term 'Nuba' was originally an alien label used to group together all peoples living in the hills area who were seen as 'black Africans' as opposed to the Baggara Arabs (Nadel, 1947; Baumann, 1987). 40 Nuer The Nuer mostly live in Southern Sudan, and consist of 4% of the total residents. The name Nuer is used by neighboring ethnic groups. However, they call themselves Naath. It is remarkable that their communities are not closed, and groups originally belonging to other peoples have been included into the Nuer communities. 41 Their primary occupation is cattle-raising, and their livelihood is semi-nomadic. Their religious belief is named traditional. Fur The Fur ethnicity lives in the Western regions of Sudan, especially in Darfur. They are 2.7% of the population, and they profess Islam. They mainly live on agriculture. Zande The foundations of the Zande goes back to the 18th century when the Ambomu people conquered large lands where people of different ethnic groups lived. The people of the conquered lands would become the Zande. 42 The Zande are also known as Asande or Niam-Niam, and live in Western Sudan, Congo, and the Central African Republic. The Zande are agriculturalists, and practice a theist religion. Shilluk Living in south-central Sudan, the Shilluk are 1,6% of Sudanese population. They are pastoralists, and also their religion is said to be traditional Suliman, Mohamed, Ethnicity From Perception to Cause of Violent Conflicts: The Case of the Fur and Nuba Conflicts in Western Sudan, CONTICI International Workshop, Bern, July 8-11, 1997, Center For African Studies, London. From: 41 The Nuer, The ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE ORIENT, 42 The Zande, The ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE ORIENT, 14

17 Bari or Zaghawa The Bari people are both an agriculturalist and pastoralist society, living in Southern Sudan and professing traditional religious cult. Nubians Despite their African descent, the Nubians have been arabized and Islamized throughout the centuries. Most of them claim themselves to be Arabs, as in fact The influx of Arabs to Egypt and Sudan had contributed to the suppression of the Nubian identity following the collapse of the last Nubian kingdom in Constructed Ethnicity and Constructed Conflict Sudanese ethnic identities, as previously noted, have been constructed by historical and cultural habits. Therefore, the perceived common ancestry, history or customs, rather than biological and physical characteristics, have contributed to the ethnical identification of the self. At first glance, conflict in Sudan can be regarded as ethnic. But is ethnicity the ultimate cause for conflict? The answer is no, because ethnic groups are not conflictive per se. Alan Phillips, the Director of Minority Rights Group International, wrote in 1995 that attempts to portray the conflict in North-South or Arab-African terms disguise the complexities of a war fought by multi-ethnic groups where religious differences colour struggles over access to land or political power. 44 Indeed, the relative peacefulness of the previous centuries suggests that ethnic diversity does not constitute a major problem in Sudanese multi-ethnic societies. Ethnic diversity becomes conflict as a consequence of external factors. Various scholars have agreed that other factors, such as economic and political competition, marginalization and inequality, can have a negative impact on ethnic diversity. Ethnic identities in themselves are not conflictual, just as individuals are not inherently in conflict merely because of their different identities and characteristics. Rather, it is unmanaged or mismanaged competition for power, wealth, or status broadly defined that provides the basis for conflict. 45 In Judith Nagata s words, ethnicity depends on changing social circumstances and external forces. In other words, whether people feel their ethnic loyalties to be important depends not on the nature of the attachment itself but on the calculation of whether in these circumstances the ethnic tie is one which may be evoked, used and acted upon. 46 And in paraphrasing Judith Nagata, Fenton adds, this variation in political consciousness and organization will depend on external social circumstances. In other words, the level of consciousness and political organization of an ethnic group or category will depend less on internal social and cultural features and more on external political and economic circumstances. This would certainly offer an explanation of why ethnic identities may be socially quiet for long periods of time but burst into action when there is a critical change in circumstances The Nubians, The ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE ORIENT, 44 Youngs, Tim, Sudan: Conflict in Darfur, Research Paper 04/51 for the House of Commons, 23 June From: 45 Deng, Francis M., Reconciling Sovereignty with Responsibility, Africa in World Politics: The African State System in Flux, p rd Edition. Edited by John W. Harbeson and Donald Rothchild. Westview Press (2000, Boulder, CO) 46 Fenton, Steve, Ethnicity, p. 85, Polity Press (2003, Cambridge) 47 Fenton, Steve, Ethnicity, p. 70, Polity Press (2003, Cambridge) 15

18 The expert on African issues, Alex de Waal, also stated, In times of fear and insecurity, people's ambit of trust and reciprocity contracts, and identity markers that emphasize difference between warring groups are emphasized. 48 Psychologist, M. Sherif, supports the idea that in specific situations, differences between and among ethnic groups are believed to be vital and central to beliefs, values, and needs that define individual and ethnic identity. 49 If such externalities influence an ethnic group as a whole, it means that all individuals within that group perceive a common sense of threat or interest coming from a specific factor. Thus, ethnic groups are also interest groups, in the sense that they act as a whole at particular stimulations. In speaking about ethnic groups as interest groups in the US, Glazer and Moynihan argue: Ethnic groups then, even after distinctive language, customs and culture are lost, as they largely were in the second generation, and even more fully in the third generation, are continually recreated by new experiences in America. The mere existence of a name itself is perhaps sufficient to form group character in new situations, for the name associates an individual with a certain past, country, race. But a man is connected to his group by ties of family and friendship. But he is also connected by ties of interest. The ethnic groups in New York are also interest groups. 50 The sense of ethnic identity is thus perceived stronger when specific circumstances highlight common interests within a group, and consequently leads to ethnic mobilization. Again, it is useful to refer to a definition used by Mezran in Negotiating National Identity. In using the cultural construct approach to defining the nation, he suggests a concept that can be used in our theory of constructed ethnicity and constructed conflict : Supporters of this approach view the nation as the product of conscious process of construction by a group of people to pursue their interest. 51 Whether we agree or not that ethnic affiliation, as well as the nation, is consciously constructed, we must recognize that the mobilization of an ethnic group occurs when some sort of common interests (including also community or individual rights) have been denied or are undermined. In a few words, ethnic groups may be mobilized as a consequence of the neglect of their interests. People respond to political slogans because their status is undermined with a resultant sense of diffuse anger or anxiety (...) In the field of ethnicity, people are seen to be calculating their individual or collective interest. 52 Omi and Winant precise that ethnicity is not just about difference but about structural inequality and a hierarchy of difference. 53 It is in this specific circumstance, that is, when ethnic groups are unequally represented and protected by law, that the identity of an ethnic group is reinforced, and becomes instrumental in its political exploitation. Ethnicity becomes instrumental when ethnic attachments serve some individual or collective political or economic ends, 54 by fostering action. 48 De Waal, Alex, Who Are The Darfurians?, Justice Africa 49 Jones, James M., Dynamics of Ethnic Conflict, Prejudice and Racism, p nd Edition. Mc Graw- Hill (1997, New York) 50 Fenton, Steve, Ethnicity, p. 93, Polity Press (2003, Cambridge) 51 Mezran,, Karim K., Negotiating National Identity, p. 38. Antonio Pellicani Editore (2002, Rome) 52 Fenton, Steve, Ethnicity, p , Polity Press (2003, Cambridge) 53 Fenton, Steve, Ethnicity, p. 111, Polity Press (2003, Cambridge) 54 Fenton, Steve, Ethnicity, p. 76, Polity Press (2003, Cambridge) 16

19 The exploitation of ethnicity by key actors, be them political or religious elites, reinforces the idea of diversity to the point that it becomes conflict. Fenton speaks of state-sponsored ethnicity saying, Once the state takes a hand in using ethnic categories to allocate resources, it both creates or confirms ethnic categories and makes ethnicity a politically instrumental principle. 55 Fenton also points out that when it is mobilized, ethnic identity may be an apparently powerful source of action. This is because it can be, for the individual and the community, a totalizing identity: if people are concerned about their jobs, their neighborhood, their education and that of their children, their legal status, their persona security, under the right circumstances ethnic identity may be incorporated in all of these. 56 In Ethnic Fears and Global Engagement, David A. Lake and Donald Rothchild argue, Ethnic conflict is not caused directly by inter-group differences, ancient hatreds and centuries-old feuds, or the stresses of modern life within a global economy. ( ) Rather, ethnic conflict is caused by collective fears of the future. ( ) Ethnic activists and political entrepreneurs, operating within groups, reinforce these fears of physical insecurity and polarize the society. 57 Similarly, other scholars argue that ethnicity does not cause conflict. Crawford Young affirms, a host of factors related to opportunity structure, resource possibilities for rebel action, generalized discontents, deteriorated well-being and life chances, and weakened states among other elements- explain why armed conflict is more prevalent in post-cold War Africa. Cultural pluralism alone is not the prime determinant ( ). In a culturally plural society, however, once armed conflict is interwoven with politics, identity is virtually certain to become part of the larger patterns of confrontation, even though the ways in which communal determinants operate are very diverse. 58 Finally, John Mueller concluded his article on The Banality of Ethnic War saying, this analysis of the experiences in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda suggests that ethnicity is important in ethnic wars more as an ordering device than as an impelling force ( ); that the wars did not necessarily derive from the ethnic peculiarities of those regions ( ). Ethnicity proved essentially to be simply the characteristic around which the perpetrators and the politicians who recruited and encouraged them happened to array themselves. It was important as an ordering device or principle, not as a crucial motivating force. 59 The Root Causes of African Conflicts As many constructivist and instrumentalist scholars demonstrated, ethnicity assumes an important aspect in the conflicts, but does not per se explain their emergence. Understanding the major causes of the civil conflicts that have plagued 55 Fenton, Steve, Ethnicity, p. 99, Polity Press (2003, Cambridge) 56 Fenton, Steve, Ethnicity, p. 114, Polity Press (2003, Cambridge) 57 Lake, David A. & Rothchild, Donald, Ethnic Fears and Global Engagement, Working Paper for the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, January From: 58 Young, Crawford, Deciphering Disorder in Africa: Is Identity the Key?, Review Article, World Politics 54 (July 2002), Mueller, John, The Banality of Ethnic War, p.62, International Security, Summer-Fall 2000, Vol.25 17

20 Africa requires a time-space collocation. This implies locating the conflict region in a multidimensional space, both geographically and historically. The case of Sudan provides an appropriate case study, not only for the understanding of the characteristics of post-independent African states - and therefore of the political behavior that has triggered conflict - but also the common changing features of conflict in Africa. The use of the term Africa does not want to minimize the complexity and uniqueness of the different states and ethnicities of the continent, but only attempts to trace a common thread, which is useful to have a more in-depth comprehension of the conflicts in Africa, and especially of the so-called ethnic conflicts. The causes for conflict in Africa are numerous. However, the historical period and events (such as colonialism, neocolonialism, the Cold War, and the collapse of the Soviet Union) explain some of the policies and choices that African countries made. Conflicts in Africa can generally be classified as Stefano Bellucci, Professor of Comparative African Systems at the University of Pavia, says in two main categories: the postcolonial and the neoliberal conflicts. The first type can be located in a timeframework, which goes from the independence of most African states - the sixties - to the collapse of the Soviet Union. Its root causes generate from socio-political, cultural and economic conflicts, from the failure of state-building and consequently of nationbuilding, and from militarism and militarization. The second type of conflict, the neoliberal one, belongs to the ongoing global era. It is characterized by political and economic changes, by the crisis of the state and by the end of the Cold War. Both types of conflict, though, primarily have economic reasons, concerning the misallocation of resources and power. Stefano Bellucci points out that the causes of civil conflicts come from social, cultural and political conflicts, which hide economic aspects: between those who are in power and those who experience its consequences; economic aspects, which result in growing poverty and economic inequality, and which finding armed conflict the only solution. 60 Even Biafran scholar and PhD in Political Science, Emmy Godwin Irobi, argues, economic factors have been identified as one of the major causes of conflict in Africa. Theorists believe that competition for scarce resources is a common factor in almost all ethnic conflicts in Africa. In multi-ethnic societies like Nigeria and South Africa, ethnic communities violently compete for property, rights, jobs, education, language, social amenities and good health care facilities. 61 In a similar way, Ernest Harsch wrote in African Renewal: Inequality does matter for achievement of the MDGs, noted Mr. Arjan de Haan, a social development adviser with the UK s Department for International Development, in an article in NEPAD Dialogue, a publication of the New Partnership for Africa s Development (NEPAD), a continental plan adopted by African leaders in Inequality particularly in assets and gender can even reduce rates of growth, hence indirectly limiting poverty reduction. 60 Bellucci, Stefano, Storia Delle Guerre Africane: Dalla Fine del Colonialismo al Neoliberalismo Globale, p.56 (Rome: Carrocci Editore, 2006) 61 Irobi, Emmy Godwin, Ethnic Conflict Management in Africa: A Comparative Study of Nigeria and South Africa, Research Paper, May, 2005, at Beyond Intractability.org of the University of Colorado, at: 18

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